10 Shockingly Stupid “Money-Saving” Moments From TLC’s Extreme Cheapskates

If you thought being cheap means always leaving a small tip or stealing packets of ketchup, you aren’t familiar with the extremely cheap.

Extreme Cheapskates, one of TLC’s questionable “reality” shows, features penny pinchers who will amaze (and even disgust) you with how far they’ll go to save a few bucks.

Here are 10 money saving ideas from Extreme Cheapskates that I bet (and hope) you don’t try.

1. Drying and reusing paper towels

With great spills come great opportunity – to reuse paper towels, that is. Who said they were meant to be used just once?

paper-towels-in-trash

Trash to most. Money wasted to cheapskates.

The extremely cheap can use their paper towels, wash them, then hang them to before using them again, just like Roy Haynes does on the show!

Image by: overheadfluorescence

2. Living without toilet paper

Forget about separating two-ply — just stop using toilet paper altogether!

Kay Hashimoto, who was featured on the show and interviewed by The Daily Mail, has sworn off buying toilet paper. Instead, she’s substituted soap, water and, errr, her hands. If that makes you queasy, her actual quote from the show is too gross to publish here.

Extreme Cheapskates Toilet Paper

And her savings for all of this trouble/grossness? Drumroll… $6 per month!

Image by TLC.com

3. Collecting your own drinking water

We’ve all heard about the high cost of bottled water, but tap water costs too much now? For those that don’t want to pay $0.001 per gallon from the tap, there’s another option: Collect your own drinking water.

Free water tastes even better when you know how many pennies you're actually saving

Free water tastes even better when you know how many pennies you’re actually saving

Ben Livingston of Extreme Cheapskates drives out and fills up on water in a local creek.

Image by: copleys

4. Covering yourself in cornstarch to beat the heat

I’m not sure how or if this absurd idea even works. But for Ben (mentioned above), who lives in Austin, Texas without air conditioning, anything as crazy as putting cornstarch on your skin is worth a try to beat the sweltering 100+ degree heat.

wear-cornstarch

No word on if he cooks with it after wearing it

Sure, A/C is expensive, but can’t he get by with an electric fan?

Image by: fstorr

5. Eating left-behind food at restaurants

I rarely waste food, but I’d never touch diner’s plate. For Cheapskate Roy (from above), it’s an opportunity to save a few bucks. He’s not shy about dining off abandoned food from a nearby restaurant table.

food-on-table

Keep an eye on your food if you’re seated near a cheapskate.

Image by: geishabot

6. Serving roadkill to dinner guests

If you won’t touch food left behind by nearby diners, how about snacking on a fresh kill by a fellow driver?

Extreme Cheapskates Vickie and John go out with their kids in search of a deliciously-free meal that doesn’t even require a trip to the store. After passing on a little-too-rotted corpse of a fox, they settled on a rabbit they found down the street.

pineapple-roadkill

This roadkill pineapple would’ve gone nicely with the rabbit

But don’t think they’d be so greedy to keep it all to themselves. They invited over a few friends to feast on their road kill rabbit meal.

Image by: brownpau

7. Asking for a dozen free samples, then not buying anything

We’ve all tried an ice cream sample or two before picking the best flavor to indulge in an entire cone’s worth. But if you don’t care about enjoying a whole scoop (and drawing the ire of a local business owner), just go for a dozen or so samples and then buy nothing like Roy does on the show.

free-samples

Free samples = free dinner

For extra effect, tell your wife it’s a date and let her suffer the embarrassment (yup, he did that, too).

Image by: elwillo

8. Driving a “car” (or what remains of one)

I’m on board with keeping things frugal by driving used car that’s seen more than it’s fair share of miles and may have lost a bit of it’s glimmer along the way. But you’ve got to draw the line somewhere. That is, unless you’re Ben, who takes “clunker” to a whole new level with his ride.

clunker-car

You couldn’t pay me to get inside this car

Image by: mindfrieze

9. Unplugging everything when you leave the house

Phantom energy wasters like TVs, stereos, and cell phone charges suck up power when you’re not using them. While I’ll even admit to unplugging some of my devices when I leave the house, I can’t imagine unplugging everything in your house every time I leave.

That’s what Extreme Cheapskate Victoria does on the show, leaving literally no appliance untouched.

do-not-unplug

A cheapskate’s nightmare

Image by: crazytales562

10. Flushing only once a week

Not to be outdone by the toilet paper saver mentioned above, another cheapskate (Greg) start puts the “It’s it’s yellow, let it mellow” rule to shame. No matter what it is, Greg lets it go a full week before flushing.

Oh, and when he does finally flush, it’s using shower water collected in a bucket.

What’s your favorite moment from Extreme Cheapskates?



Last Edited: March 8, 2014 @ 11:05 pm
About Jeffrey Trull

Jeffrey Trull is a freelance writer and blogger who enjoys getting a few laughs while helping readers pay off debt and spend money on what they love. His work has been featured on MSN Money, Money Talks News, and The Dough Roller. Find more of his writing at jeffreybtrull.com.

Comments

  1. This is why I am glad that I don’t have cable. What is wrong with these people? I just don’t get it.

  2. CheapLifeShow says:

    ptmoney Glad JeffYeager didn’t make your Top 10 list from the show!

  3. CheapLifeShow says:

    ptmoney Living cheap doesn’t have to be ‘extreme.’ The fun side of frugal: http://t.co/hsBLbde2Mq

  4. BudgetBlonde says:

    Wow. They should come live in Grenada. They’d love it!

  5. I have never seen the show and now I am glad I haven’t. The visual of the chick on the toilet along with the though of eating roadkill is enough for me. Ugh! I just posted about having a hard time enjoying the finer things in life, but I would NEVER give up my a/c, heat, or tap water. Shoot I’d go work at Mickey Dees to afford them if I had to HA!

  6. I find it hilarious that people even think of these different ways to be cheap/frugal.  I am 100% about using coupons to save money, but there is a line that I won’t cross.

  7. rs02011988 says:

    I thought the episode where the woman asks her cheapskate husband to take her out was so funny. He takes her to a matinee and after they are seated in the theater he offers to go get them both pop and popcorn. She is so happy that he offered to do this! Well, he goes through the theater trashcans and finds 2 large cups and a large popcorn bag, rinses them out in the bathroom and goes to the concession stand to get his free refill. He brings it back to his wife, haha.

    • rs02011988 That’s crazy cheap and wrong. You could get sick from drinking from someone else’s cup. Plus, it’s just nasty. It was in the trash can, right?!

  8. Jenny at FrugalGuruGuide says:

    Eh, 90% of it’s probably fake.  :)  I don’t believe that most of these people actually do a lot of these things!!!!

    • Jenny at FrugalGuruGuide Yeah, I’m thinking a lot of it is setup. Too over-the-top to be real.

      • Jenny at FrugalGuruGuide says:

        Philip Taylor Jenny at FrugalGuruGuide I’ll buy the car, though.
        And that would be an AWESOME car for a teenager.  From a parent’s perspective, at least.  :D

  9. brokeandbeau says:

    Not flushing for a week is seriously disturbing as is the roadkill.  I may or may not have eaten leftovers off other peoples plates though :/